Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Walking with a Purpose

Recently, I bought some new work-out togs made out of that great moisture-wicking material that's so popular these days. I love the top: it gives the illusion that I have a perfect hourglass figure. When I wear it, for the first time since my pre-childbearing days, I appear to have a definitive waist. (I'm sure no one pays the slightest attention to those hot pink panels on the sides...) I think I'm going to have all of my clothes tailored like this, so that I can give the impression of having a Scarlett O'Hara-esque waistline.

I try to work out every day, ever since I learned the depressing fact that women over 50 need to exercise an hour a day...just to MAINTAIN their weight! To shed pounds, they have to cut way back on their food intake, while still performing that hour of daily exercise. Sheesh! Give me a break already!

Anyway, I usually work out at home, indoors, following a routine on a DVD. But sometimes I like to just go outside and power walk, especially if it's a nice day. Well, yesterday it was mild and breezy and sunny, and I decided that I would walk. I usually do the same route, walking about 3 miles total through a grid of neighborhood streets in a development close to our house. I've gotten bored of that route, though. And I got thinking about our forefathers back in the olden days, and how much walking they did. They didn't need to go to the gym and walk on a treadmill, because they pretty much had to walk everywhere. (Kids might walk 5 miles to school and back, uphill both ways, in a foot of snow--like the parents of Baby Boomers such as myself claim they used to do.) There was a time when people didn't walk through random neighborhoods just for the sake of exercise; they walked with a purpose. They had somewhere they needed to go to get something done. Feeling inspired, I came up with a plan: I'd walk toward town and run an errand that would normally involve a car trip, and then walk back.

I'm not sure exactly how far I walked (approximately 3 miles, I believe), but it took me 45 minutes to get to the drugstore, where I picked up some dark chocolate Easter eggs, an Easter treat for my husband and me (having forgotten to get them when I bought the goodies that I mailed out to my boys on Monday). I know it sounds like I defeated the whole purpose of my long walk by buying two bags of chocolates...but I didn't open them up on the spot--they're for EASTER! And incidentally, haven't you heard that dark chocolate is now considered a health food?

I hadn't had any lunch, so after I bought the chocolates, I stopped in at Subway and had a 6" sub and some baked Lays. (Again, it seems like I was defeating the purpose of my walk...but it was well past lunchtime, and I hadn't eaten yet! So get off my back, will ya?)

After lunch, I did the 45-minute return trip, walking at a brisk pace in my Shape Up-style sneakers. (And no joke, on my route there were stretches--both ways--where I had to walk uphill!) I'm not 100% sure if I believe that those newfangled sneakers really do shape up your lower body; but I will say this: long before I hit the home stretch on my walk, my thighs and backside were incredibly sore. And my toes were getting a bit numb. And all I could think of was my daughter-in-law, who has run three marathons (including the elite Boston Marathon), and wonder HOW IN THE WORLD she survived them!

I will never run a marathon, I'm absolutely sure of that. But I may run more errands on foot in the future. Walking with a purpose, I've decided, is a good way to kill two birds with one stone.


  1. I should have added at the end there that with gas prices as high as they are, walking is a lot easier on the old wallet, too!

  2. And by the way, I just noticed yesterday that the times listed on my blog posts are wrong. It's showing West Coast time--which happened once before, but I forget how to fix it. I'm going to have to have my daughter-in-law help me when I see her after Easter!

  3. I was about to ask which drug store is within 3 miles of our house, but then you said you stopped at subway, so Im assuming you walked through the on and off ramps to the turnpike. Be careful walking around there.
    Haha, on the way back when you started to get sore did you pull a Gob and say "I've made a huge mistake"???

  4. I passed that busy intersection by Liberty Mutual and took a left on Glenwood Ave., which is a lot safer. And yes, I did sort of feel like I'd made a huge mistake...but I had to get home, so there was no turning back!

  5. I love this post. Very funny!